Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Snodgrass/Segal mss., 1959-1977, consist of the extensive correspondence and working manuscripts of W. D. Snodgrass and Lore Segal.

William De Witt Snodgrass (1926-2009) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet. After serving in the United States Navy in WWII, he attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop, received a BA in 1949, an MA in 1951, and an MFA in 1953. He subsequently taught at Cornell, Rochester, Wayne State, Syracuse, Old Dominion and the University of Delaware, retiring in 1994 to devote himself entirely to writing. He was married four times, and was survived by his fourth wife, writer Kathleen Snodgrass. After an early and successful career publishing in leading magazines, he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960 for Heart's Needle, a highly-influential collection often said to have inaugurated confessional poetry. He continued to write and publish over the following years, achieving his most notable success in this later period with his cycle of poems, The Führer Bunker, which began in 1977 and was published in full in 1995.

Lore Segal, née Groszmann (b. 1928 in Vienna, Austria) is an American novelist, translator, and author of children's books. Her parents, Ignatz and Franzi Groszmann, sent her to England in 1939 as part of the Kindertransport rescue mission to escape Nazi rule in Austria. In 1951, Segal immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. In 1961, she married David Segal, who died nine years later. In 1964, she published Other People's Houses, a novel based on her refugee experience as a child, previously serialized in The New Yorker and later winning the Clifton Fadiman Medal. Segal taught writing for several years at Columbia University, Princeton, Bennington and other institutions, and also began to write and translate children's books, including an award-winning collection of Grimm's fairy tales with illustrator Maurice Sendak. Her 2007 story collection, Shakespeare's Kitchen, was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Segal was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

The collection contains both personal and professional materials of William Snodgrass and Lore Segal, who were close friends and working collaborators. Manuscripts include their joint translation of the poetry of Christian Morgenstern, Snodgrass's unpublished translation of Max Frisch's Biedermann and the Firebugs, and his collection The Führer Bunker.

Acquired: 2011

Collection size: 350 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.